Sixers edge Bucks, 89-88, to take series lead
PHILADELPHIA Playing on a fractured ankle and suiting up against his wife's wishes, Eric Snow became the latest hobbled hero for the Philadelphia 76ers.
After finding out earlier in the day that his sprained ankle was more seriously damaged than originally believed, Snow hit two jump shots in the final two minutes for Philadelphia's final four points as the 76ers overcame another poor shooting performance by Allen Iverson to beat the Milwaukee Bucks, 89-88, last night in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals.
"My wife is really upset with me. She supports me but she's really worried that I'll do something and won't ever be able to play basketball again," said Snow, who limped noticeably throughout the game and wore a large cast to the post-game news conference. "I just wanted to give it a go and try to see what I could do, and I was fortunate enough to make a big contribution."
The victory wasn't assured until Glenn Robinson missed a 10-footer from the baseline and Ray Allen missed a tip-in at the buzzer.
Iverson finished 5-for-27 from the field, but Snow shot 7-for-9 in scoring 18 points as the 76ers took a 3-2 series lead and added another chapter to their season-long story of overcoming injury problems.
"He won the game for us," teammate Aaron McKie said. "That was a gutsy performance. Hes playing on an ankle thats almost broken."
The series resumes tomorrow night at Milwaukee. The 76ers will try to advance to the NBA Finals for the first time since 1983 and face the Los Angeles Lakers in the Finals that will start June 6.
Dikembe Mutombo had his best game of the series with 21 points, 13 rebounds and 9-for-9 shooting from the foul line, while McKie added 15 points and had four of Philadelphias 13 steals.
The Sixers, who trailed by as many as 16 points in the first half, needed all they could get from those two as Iverson struggled from the field for the sixth straight game. Iverson missed his first seven shots, nine in a row later and his final three of the game.
"I didnt think Id have a game like that with this much at stake," said Iverson, who scored 15 points. "In the past, if I go 5-for-27 I dont think we win."
Robinson had 22 points, Allen added 20 and Sam Cassell had 18 for the Bucks, who allowed the 76ers to have two four-point possessions and one five-point possession by picking up two untimely flagrant fouls and one technical foul.
It never should have come down to that," Robinson said. "We basically gave them 10 points. We have to make sure that if we go down we go down playing the right way."
In addition to a sprain, Snow has a hairline fracture of the ankle running perpendicular to a two-inch long screw that was inserted after a previous fracture.